Implementing measures to assure quality and reliability are crucial for any integration solutions. Faulty and unreliable applications can lead to costly maintenance and repairs, negatively impacts trust in the applications, and results can be disastrous. From a more organizational and technical perspective, an unreliable and or low-quality solution can overwhelm support teams and lead a whole company to a halt. Practices to maintain high-quality and reliability of APIs span across most phases of an application development lifecycle, from solution design all the way through to deployment and maintenance.
In this post, we are going to discuss how MuleSoft architects and developers can leverage the features and tools within Anypoint Platform to address these areas of concern at different stages.
#1 Solution design
Having these two aspects in mind, solution designers leverage Anypoint Platform features such as API Designer and Anypoint Exchange to create, document, validate, and share APIs, fostering collaboration and better alignment. API Designer is used to create and document API contracts (specifications and fragments either using RAML or OpenAPI) and enable mock services so that consumers can interact and explore a live (mocked) API. At a later stage, Anypoint Exchange is a hub where APIs, connectors, and various other Mule and non-Mule assets can be discovered, explored, and documented. From the start, following these guidelines, tips, and best practices, quality and reliability can be achieved and also improve the overall experience.
#2 Development and unit testing
During development, following best practices and writing well-structured, easy to follow, and reusable code are some of the concerns to be addressed to assure quality and reliability. Examples of these would be following the recommended naming convention for flows, sub-flows, variables, and properties.
Separating implementation from interface flows (e.g. APIKit generated) and externalizing DataWeave code are equally important. Next, when implementation is finished, leveraging Test Recorder comes in handy and eases the sometimes cumbersome task of implementing MUnit test cases in flows, templates, and all other possible scenarios. This is vital to future-proofing applications and contributing to assuring quality and reliability.
Using a CI/CD pipeline tool to automate deploying applications has a number of benefits. More specifically, as deployments become much less error-prone and much more repeatable, the development team can focus on developing applications to business requirements and release becomes faster, leading to rapid feedback. Whether applications are being deployed to CloudHub, on-prem or Runtime Fabric, MuleSoft has a solution in place. Applications can be nicely and easily deployed using Mule Maven Plugin. In a more programmatically way, using CloudHub REST API or Anypoint CLI allows execution of a number of operations in the MuleSoft environment, which obviously includes the deployment of applications.
Monitoring applications is the most vital aspect of applications management and support. It caters to practical business-as-usual (BAU) activities. Anypoint Monitoring features built-in and custom dashboards for non-functional monitoring, offering a complete view of applications and servers. This includes detailed information regarding performance, failures, JVM, and infrastructure. Additionally, administrators can configure alerts for applications and servers to track trends or quickly identify abnormal behaviour based on various conditions.
API functional monitoring of public and private APIs is possible by creating automated monitors that can be executed based on a schedule at regular intervals. These are quite flexible and allow the execution of basic requests as well as more complex ones, including assertions. API functional monitoring can also be achieved programmatically by leveraging the power of the Blackbox Automated Testing (BAT) CLI.
Ensuring effective and efficient use of Anypoint Platform is an integral part of governance. MuleSoft platform administrators can make use of Anypoint Visualizer to visualize environments, applications, and dependencies from different perspectives or view modes.
In the troubleshooting view, one can have a detailed view of metrics such as response times, CPU, and memory utilization. In the policy view, administrators can check for policy compliance. In architecture view, applications can be seen through an application network’s lenses.
As presented in this article, quality and reliability are paramount for any integration initiative and these two concerns span across solution design, software development, deployment, and application management. As a reliable and top-quality platform, MuleSoft features tools to ensure the quality and reliability of enterprise integration solutions at all times. Get started with Anypoint Platform now — sign up for free.